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> Metahuman Questions circa 2070, Some questions about metahumans
Degausser
post May 20 2007, 05:42 AM
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So, I'm making a character for a shadowrun campaign, and I'm new to fourth edition, (but I played third.)

So, I wanted to make an ork ('cuse I'd never played non-humans before) so, when writing a backstory, I wanted to make my character born to some Humanis humans. Then I had the question:

Are Non-humans born still born to human parents (UGE or whatever) in 2070, or has that pretty much stopped? The book provides little insight that I've found. The only thing it has to say is: (in the base book on page 66)

"When Sapiens are born to Ork mothers, they will express robustus at puberty roughly 95% of the time."

Does this mean that Ork "children" (under the age of puberty) look like humans? Or does it mean that roughly 5% of the time, ork mothers will give birth to a non- ork?

Lastly, an idea for a character is that he changed during SURGE (the year of the comet) but little information is actually given about SURGE. Am I missing something? What was SURGE?
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fistandantilus4....
post May 20 2007, 07:37 AM
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IIRC, there are still a few people that express (UGE) into orks or trolls at puberty, but it's pretty rare. Occassionally there are some troll families that birth a human child, but it expresses late. No more elves or dwarves born to pure human parents though.

SURGE is a UGE like effect that effects peopel across the boards. It happend in '61-62, during the Year of the Comet, apparently due to higher mana levels. It affected mostly mundane humans, having apparently "random" effects. Some grew a third eye, tails, astral vision, some expressed in to trolls, gills, etc. It 's all in the book year of the Comet.
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knasser
post May 20 2007, 08:12 AM
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Dwarves and elves are born that way. Orks and trolls undergo goblinisation later on, usually in puberty. It's more or less settled down by 2070 with the races now breeding true, but the child of a human-human couple expressing as an ork is still possible. It would probably be remarked upon and the current generation of orks might occasionally lack sympathy for the character (making him doubly an outcast), but it's perfectly possible for a character background.

The line you quoted means that ork parents can have a human child, but that the child will nearly always goblinise at puberty anyway. Mostly orks will have ork babies and soon, cases of human babies from orks might become unknown entirely.

SURGE was specific to the proximity of Haley's Comet and the rules are in the Year of the Comet book. SURGE has therefore stopped for now, but if you want such an effect, you could have a character conceived or growing up in an area of strangely high mana count. Perhaps the parents sneaked into Stonehenge and had sex in the centre or the circle, or something. Personally, I don't like SURGE, but this is the sort of thing that would justify it, post-comet.
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HappyDaze
post May 20 2007, 10:11 AM
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Although I don't really care for SURGE, I was under the impression that it is still occurring but at a greatly reduced rate (perhaps a few hundred new cases per year worldwide). I believe it is also said that SURGE will become more common as mana levels increase, and the Comet was just a 'preview' of what is to come.
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Edward
post May 20 2007, 11:19 AM
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Year of the comet was 61, base SR4 is 70. it was only 9 years ago, most of the people that had surge are still running around with tails and spikes and astral vision or whatever. You could easily justify a character that was affected by surge at a comet party.

There are however no rules for it in SR4.

Edward
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Ravor
post May 20 2007, 01:48 PM
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Also it was my understanding that dwarves and elves could still be born from human parents and visa-versa, it was just very, very rare.
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Degausser
post May 20 2007, 06:59 PM
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Okay, so, to sum up:

1) Surge (happening in 2061) created a lot of weird stuff, (mutations, tales, mundandes gaining astral perception) but it also caused lots of humans to turn into non-humans (trolls, orks, elves, dwarves) (Similar to the orgiginal 'Goblinization' that happened way back when.)

2) Ork children, until they hit puberty, look like humans. When they hit puberty, they usuallystart start expressing ork traits.

3)Though very rare, it is possible for two human parrents to have a troll or ork offspring.
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knasser
post May 20 2007, 07:05 PM
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QUOTE (Degausser)
2) Ork children, until they hit puberty, look like humans. When they hit puberty, they usuallystart start expressing ork traits.


No! Ork babies are identifiably ork babies. They have those cute little tusks and everything.

Sometimes (rarely these days), an ork will give birth to a human baby, but that human baby is very likely to goblinize at puberty anyway.
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BGMFH
post May 20 2007, 08:00 PM
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Just rogering up to agree with Knasser
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Degausser
post May 20 2007, 08:43 PM
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QUOTE (knasser)
No! Ork babies are identifiably ork babies. They have those cute little tusks and everything.

ROFL, I don't know why, but for some reason that quote makes me imagine a Humanis guy at the Obstetician ward with this quote:

"Who's the cutest little abomination against nature? Yes you are! Yes you are!"
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Fortune
post Jul 9 2007, 03:40 PM
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QUOTE (Degausser)
1) Surge (happening in 2061) created a lot of weird stuff, (mutations, tales, mundandes gaining astral perception) but it also caused lots of humans to turn into non-humans (trolls, orks, elves, dwarves) (Similar to the orgiginal 'Goblinization' that happened way back when.)

All elves and dwarves are born as such. SURGE did not cause anyone to turn into an elf or a dwarf. The goblinization effect only applied to orcs and trolls. SURGE did cause some members of all metaraces to change into their respective metavariants, and vice-versa.
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FrankTrollman
post Jul 9 2007, 08:26 PM
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People who bathe in the Ganga river are periodically SURGEd into Hindu-appropriate forms even as late as 2064 (Shadows of Asia, p. 63). There are a few other places that have similar effects (although admittedly, less Hindi influenced) in such places as the Merrimack River in the UCAS or Lake Bosumtwi in Ghana.

-Frank
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JonathanC
post Jul 9 2007, 09:01 PM
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Is there a definitive answer to the question of ork/troll hyper-aging? I personally don't use it in my games (it brings up too many unanswered questions, like orks going through puberty when they're like 8 years old, or crawling around the house as infants looking like six-year-olds, despite being 18 months old), and I justify it by looking at the "worldwide" age limit for humans being 55. It seems reasonable to me that inadequate medical care, sheer ignorance of how to take care of orks and trolls (and a lack of properly sized equipment, violence, tendency towards poverty and dangerous jobs, and poor dietary choices (orks are said to prefer meat-centric diets, and if they're poor they probably aren't getting healthy food) accounts for their average lifespan being 40 something. After all, it wasn't too long ago that humans were dying around that age. In some countries, we still do, I think.
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Dread Polack
post Jul 9 2007, 09:18 PM
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I think the ork and troll lifespans are partly due to health care and lifestyle and their race. From what I understand, men live somewhat shorter lives than women because of testosterone and its effects on our bodies. I think the hot-tempered nature of orks and trolls isn't just a mis-perceived racial stereotype (at least not how I run things in my game), and as a result, orks and trolls tend to burn out a little younger than the other races.

Dread Polack
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FrankTrollman
post Jul 9 2007, 10:36 PM
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QUOTE
Is there a definitive answer to the question of ork/troll hyper-aging?


There is a condition that afflicts goblinized individuals called "Methuselah's Syndrome" which causes them to appear to age very quickly and die at a young age (Shadows of Asia, p. 133). Orks and Trolls undergo puberty early, but not amazingly so (humans often have their first period at age 8 in the modern world as well). Then, when they get into their twenties some of them begin a rapid decline in health and appear to become old and die, and some of them live a normal human life. This results in an average lifespan which is lower.

-Frank
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JonathanC
post Jul 9 2007, 10:53 PM
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Huh. Well, that makes sense then. So they age normally until 20, when some of them develop a condition that ages them rapidly.
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FrankTrollman
post Jul 9 2007, 11:27 PM
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QUOTE (JonathanC)
Huh. Well, that makes sense then. So they age normally until 20, when some of them develop a condition that ages them rapidly.

Close enough. Sometimes Methuselah's Syndrome strikes much later, as in the case of Yuri Shibanokuji (who appears to have come down with the sickness at about age 40). And the average age of puberty of an Ork has been described as being noticably lower than that of humans.

But basically yes. Methuselah's Syndrome is like Ork Parkinsons. It is debilitating and fatal, and strikes people down in a cruel way. However, in SR4, Methuselah's Syndrome is apparently curable. Yuri's not dead as far as I know, and he's had MS since 2059.

Structurally it works like this: any Ork character can at any time suddenly find himself "getting old". There are treatments for this, and they are very expensive. So if you need a way to convince an Ork character to do something, there's a built in plot hook for doing it.

-Frank
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Wakshaani
post Jul 10 2007, 01:01 AM
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I think that they have them reach sexual maturity around 8-10, rather than the 13-15 or a human, and physical maturity around 16, rather than the 21-ish of a human. So, they age a lil' faster, but not, like, Kudzu speed or anything. Helps the racists keep spinning horror stories of ten year old linebackers abusing poor precious human kids.

The shorter lifespan is a big issue in the Tir, where Orks don't get anywhere *near* the age of social security and where some laws, such as a drinking age of 30 or school required until ...ack. I think 25, I'd have to check ... anyway, it meses an Ork up badly.

Of course, there's also the issue of Elves getting social security while in their prime, so.

...

(Vote Brackhaven!)
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FrankTrollman
post Jul 10 2007, 09:44 AM
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QUOTE (Wakshaani)
I think that they have them reach sexual maturity around 8-10, rather than the 13-15 or a human, and physical maturity around 16, rather than the 21-ish of a human.


Where did you get your figures, 1934?

QUOTE
Emeritus Professor Norbert Kluge of the Universität Koblenz-Landau wrote in the Internet publication "Beiträge zur Sexualwissenschaft und Sexualpädagogik" that girls in 1992 had their first period on average at 12.2 years old and in 2010 will have it around 10 or 11 years of age.
Researchers noted the trend 140 years ago. In 1860 the average menarche happened at 16.6 years, in 1920 at 14.6, in 1950 at 13.1 and 1980, 12.5 years.
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JonathanC
post Jul 10 2007, 05:43 PM
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So...you're saying the mature at age 5, by 2070? This is why I just simplify it by assuming they have human-like maturity rates, and simply die sooner on average due to medical issues and poor lifestyle options.
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Aaron
post Jul 10 2007, 06:08 PM
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Also, I seem to recall that there is a difference between menarche and the age at which it is safe (or even possible) to safely bring a baby to term.

EDIT: Yeah, I noted after a quick look on Wikipedia that menarche and puberty are two distinct developmental stages.
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JonathanC
post Jul 10 2007, 06:41 PM
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QUOTE (Aaron)
Also, I seem to recall that there is a difference between menarche and the age at which it is safe (or even possible) to safely bring a baby to term.

EDIT: Yeah, I noted after a quick look on Wikipedia that menarche and puberty are two distinct developmental stages.

Sure, but if they're developing that much faster...they get menarche at, say, 5 years old, and are capable of bringing a baby to term when they're...what? 7? 9?

If this were the case, even with shorter lifespans, Orks would have outpopulated humans and everyone else anywhere that they're found.
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Critias
post Jul 10 2007, 06:43 PM
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QUOTE (JonathanC)
If this were the case, even with shorter lifespans, Orks would have outpopulated humans and everyone else anywhere that they're found.

Which is why we've got to burn 'em out before there's too many!
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